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Port of Vancouver envisions increased trade with Asia

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- In a presentation addressed to the Vancouver Board of Trade, the head of the Vancouver Port Auth...

VANCOUVER, B.C. — In a presentation addressed to the Vancouver Board of Trade, the head of the Vancouver Port Authority outlined plans for increasing growth on the West Coast in the coming years.

“Now is the time to recognize that our economic growth and our vital contribution to Canada’s role as an international trader will be increasingly tied to our port and the Pacific Gateway infrastructure that supports it,” said Captain Gordon Houston, president and CEO of the Vancouver Port Authority. “And now is the time to show our confidence in the future and to work at all levels to make us that gateway effective.”

The VPA’s strategy is to position itself to capture all of Canada’s Asia Pacific cargo and to incrementally grow the US Midwest business; not by acting as a relief valve for California, but by developing a loyal customer base and providing reliable secure access to US markets.

In 2006, despite a very hot intermodal market and continued increase in trade between Asia and North America, the Vancouver ports captured 95% of Canada’s trade through the Vancouver Gateway, while at the same time doubling its US intermodal business.

“Given our geographic place in the world, we are about as gifted as any location, any city, any collective of people could hope to be. For us, irrelevance in our changing world is not an option,” said Houston.

The VPA will manage its growth and change at the B.C. ports through leadership and sustainability. To achieve its mission and performance goals, the VPA has developed four key objectives: improve the reliability and performance of the transportation logistics chain; enhance the Port of Vancouver’s social license; coordinate the expansion of throughput capacity in the Pacific Gateway; and increase the competitiveness of the Port of Vancouver.

This year has already seen significant growth at the Port of Vancouver with record numbers of container traffic.

“Our calculations show that in two days time, on the 30th of November this year we will have handled 2 million TEU this year for the first time in our history,” noted Houston.

In an effort to handle increased growth in the Vancouver port system, the VPA is developing a sophisticated electronic-based monitoring and measuring system. The system is being built with RFID and Internet reporting and will provide significant real time data on the performance of every section of the logistics supply chain, including vessel, terminal, truck and rail operations.

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